Young Munster fury at IRFU as top players to miss semi-final

Young Munster RFC officials have expressed disappointment that a request to defer Sunday’s Ulster Bank League semi-final against Clontarf has been rejected by the IRFU.

Club Secretary Brendan Collopy said the Limerick side will be forced to field a weakened team as a number of their players are on the Munster A squad which contests the B&I Cup final against Jersey Reds at Musgrave Park on Friday night.

Collopy said the club had made numerous representations to the AIL committee but their requests have fallen on deaf ears.

Mindful of the possible problem down the line, Young Munster suggested bringing forward the Bateman Cup final date (Old Belvedere v Cork Constitution) six days, which the club claims would have been possible to do without disrupting planned television coverage.

“A representation was also made from the Munster Branch supporting the request to have the date changed but this has also been ignored.

“We now have players who are denied the opportunity to participate in the semi-final through no fault of their own. We have been informed that under IRFU player welfare policy, no player will be allowed to double up on Friday night and Sunday,” said Collopy. “We are having to field a totally weakened team, which shows a total disregard for the league and the club game in general. It also, we believe, shows a total disregard to the sponsors Ulster Bank who would get a much higher coverage if it wasn’t clashing with so many other rugby events. We spoke with RTÉ who said they would have no issue with moving the final of the Bateman Cup (from April 29 to April 23) and showing just one of the semi-finals instead, but (were told) the decision would have to come from the IRFU. The final response from the IRFU has been most disappointing.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed yesterday the second semi-final between Lansdowne and Cork Con will go ahead on Lansdowne Road’s back pitch.

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